Best Fishing Kayak For Beginners

Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners in 2020

Kayak fishing is very popular among anglers in the last couple of years. And, it is not surprising that most of the kayak brands started to manufacture new models every year. There is a wide variety of models for novices and experienced kayak anglers. But, definitely not all these boats are made the same. And, many kayak fishermen report they have missed a lot of things when choosing their first yak. So, make sure you will not join them. We have prepared for you a buying guide as well as reviews of the best fishing kayaks for beginners we found on the market in 2020.


Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners in 2020 – Review


Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 – Top Pick

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

We are starting our reviews with Ocean Kayak Prowler 13. It is a traditional sit-on-top kayak that combines stability, speed, and cool fishing features. Its versatility makes this yak a very suitable option for novices into kayak angling.

This is the longest boat in our selection with its 13.4-foot length. The width of the Prowler is 28 inches, which makes it a little bit narrower compared to the other fishing kayaks. However, with this width, the kayak is very efficient in terms of speed and still has excellent secondary stability even in choppy waters and oceans. So, it is an excellent option for fishing in both calm rivers or lakes and ocean fishing.

Looking inside the cockpit, we notice that there are many on-board storage options. Large and easy-to-open Click Seal dry hatch is located at the bow of the kayak. A handy 6-inch dry hatch is positioned just in front of the seat so you can keep there your smaller valuables like smartphone and keys. For larger items like kayak coolers, crates, tackle boxes, or dry bags, there is a large open cargo space with bungee cords in the stern.

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 comes with built-in footrests and breathable Comfort Plus Seat that allows 4 different seating positions. Just behind the seat, there are two flush-mounted rod holders. Paddle parks and two cup holders come as handy extra for a great fishing experience.

Actually, this kayak also has a minor drawback. Its large body weighs 56 lbs., which is a bit heavy. The boat features carry handles, but still you should think about carrying and transportation. It will also require storage space in your garage.

Specifications:

  • Length: 13.4-feet
  • Width: 28 inches
  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • Weight limit: 325 pounds

Pros:

  • High-quality and durable
  • Excellent stability and speed
  • Suitable for rivers, lakes and even ocean
  • Comfortable seat
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Comes with flush-mounted rod holders
  • Lifetime hull warranty

Cons:

  • Not so easy to transport and store

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak – Budget Pick

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak for Beginners

High-quality and affordable, Sun Dolphin Journey is a sit-on-top yak which kayak angling novices should not miss. This 10-foot boat has characteristics of a recreational kayak but comes with plenty of fishing extras. It is a great option for kayak angling in rivers and lakes. And, it is perfect entry-level kayak as it is stable, easy to paddle and tracks very well.

The body of this kayak is made of rugged UV-stabilized high-density polyethylene. Although it has a durable construction, this sit-on-top weighs only 44 lbs. And, it features retractable carry handles for convenient transportation.

At the same time, it successfully handles load up to 250 lbs and allows easy access due to its open cockpit design. There is a self-bailing feature to drain the water out. The seating area with padded seat, protective thigh pads, and adjustable foot braces is wide and fairly comfortable. However, it may need some improvements if you are planning longer outings.

Sea Dolphin Journey also provides decent storage space. It has a large rear Portable Accessory Carrier and a small dry hatch in front of the seat. In addition, there are bow and stern shock cord deck rigging systems that allow attachment of extra gear.

Every kayak angler will value that the Journey comes with 2 flush-mounted rod holders as well as one swivel fishing rod holder.

Specifications:

  • Length: 10-feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Weight limit: 250 pounds

Pros:

  • High-quality and durable
  • Stable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Open cockpit for easy entry and exit
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Comes with two molded-in rod holders and one swivel rod holder

Cons:

  • Not so fast
  • Some customers state the scupper holes are not that efficient

Perception Pescador Pro 10

Perception Pescador Pro 10

Made in the USA, Perception Pescador Pro 10 is another awesome fishing kayak for newbies. It is a stable and maneuverable sit-on kayak with a length of 10 feet and a width of 32 inches. These characteristics allow it to successfully handle slow-moving rivers, lakes, and calm coastal waters.

The body of this kayak is made of one-piece high-density polyethylene for ultimate UV-protection and abrasion-resistance. Due to its durable construction, the hull is not that lightweight at 57 lbs. However, it comes with replaceable skid plate and front and rear carry handles that allow dragging without worrying about damages.

Actually, the 10-feet Pescador has a roomy cockpit and a generous weight limit of 325 lbs. In addition, it offers ample cargo space. There is a small hatch between the paddler’s legs. Two large open cargo areas with bungee lashing are located in the bow and stern of the boat.

The breathable mesh seat of this boat has lawn chair design. It provides excellent back support and allows adjustment to 2 different positions. The lower position is perfect for relaxed paddling, while you can raise the seat for ultimate comfort while casting. And, you can position the adjustable foot braces according to your need.

Therefore, the Pescador also features 2 molded-in fishing rod holders for hands-free rod storage. And, it is one of the kayaks allowing so many upgrades. It has integrated accessory rails on the gunwale where you can mount fish finders, rod holders, or other fishing accessories.

Specifications:

  • Length: 10-feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Weight limit: 325 pounds

Pros:

  • High-quality and durable
  • Stable and maneuverable
  • Ample cargo space
  • Adjustable and removable seat
  • Comes with two molded-in rod holders
  • Integrated accessory rails allow updates

Cons:

  • A bit heavy at 57 lbs.
  • No dry storage compartments

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

If portability and easy transportation are important for you, the 2-person Sevylor Coleman Colorado would be a real gem. This is a tandem inflatable kayak designed for lake use. Its hull has durable 18-gauge PVC construction with tarpaulin bottom and 840D nylon cover for improved puncture resistance. Multiple air chambers are featured so you can safely paddle to the nearest shore in case one of the chambers is punctured.

Actually, the greatest benefit of this boat is its portability. When deflated it perfectly fits into the compact bag included in the package and could be transported in the trunk of your car. As you can imagine you can also store it almost everywhere in your house. Inflation and deflation are painless and take only a few minutes.

When in the water, this inflatable kayak is a stable platform for fishing. It is easy to paddle and maneuver even if you are an inexperienced paddler. However, as most of the inflatable kayaks, it does not have that good level of tracking and speed.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado has a maximum weight capacity of 470 lbs. and has enough room to accommodates 2 adult paddlers. The inflatable seats are comfortable enough for longer fishing and paddling trips. When you are not using the paddles, you can keep them handy in the paddle parks. And, you can put you fishing poles in the adjustable Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders.

This yak doesn’t have dry storage but comes with handy mesh pockets on the side chambers and seatbacks. In addition, there are a few D-rings where you can attach additional gear. Last but not least, this inflatable tandem kayak has trolling motor fittings. So, you can upgrade it and expand your fishing capabilities.

Specifications:

  • Length: 10.9-feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight: 41.2 pounds
  • Weight limit: 470 pounds

Pros:

  • Durable and high-quality materials
  • Stable and Maneuverable
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Affordable
  • Handy mesh pockets and D-rings
  • Adjustable Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders
  • Trolling motor mounting point

Cons:

  • Not so good tracking and speed
  • Not so suitable for windy conditions
  • No dry storage

Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak

Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak

Lifetime Sport Fisher is another great fishing kayak for novices. It is 10-feet long and has a width of 36 inches. The hull is made of high-density UV-protected polyethylene for ultimate durability. The combination of the sharp keel and flat bottom ensures better performance in terms of stability, tracking, and speed.

Therefore, this tandem kayak has a spacious open cockpit with scupper holes to drain out the water. With an excellent maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. they yak can accommodate 2 paddlers and a passenger. However, the stable and roomy construction of the cockpits comes at the price of higher weight. The boat is a bit heavy at 60 lbs.

Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak offers two comfortable padded seats with backrests and multiple footrest positions for different size paddlers. Actually, another positive is that the boat comes with 2 double-sided kayak paddles included in the package so you don’t need to spend extra money for them. And, there are paddle clips where they can be attached when fishing or taking a break.

Inside the kayak, there are three flush-mounted fishing pole holders for a hands-free fishing experience. A 6-inch storage hatch is located in the kayak stern. And, there is a cargo area with bungee cords on the kayak bow.

Specifications:

  • Length: 10-feet
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight: 60 pounds
  • Weight limit: 500 pounds

Pros:

  • Durable and high-quality materials
  • Stable and Maneuverable
  • Comfortable
  • Generous load capacity of 500 lbs
  • Three molded-in rod holders
  • Comes with 2 paddles included in the package

Cons:

  • A bit heavy at 60 lbs.
  • Not that fast

How to choose the best beginner fishing kayak for you?

Best Fishing Kayak for Beginners

Sit-on-top vs. Sit-in kayaks

Generally, there are two basic types of yaks – sit-on-top and sit inside kayaks. The difference between them is the cockpit design. With the classic sit-in kayaks, the paddler sits inside the kayak hull. On the other hand, the sit-on-tops have an open cockpit and the paddlers are positioned on top of the yak.

Actually, sit-on-top boats are excellent first choice if you are new to kayaking as they allow you to easily enter and exit your yak. They are also more stable than the sit-in fishing yaks in most of the cases. Another benefit is that they allow free movement while paddling or fishing. So, they are a really suitable option for big size paddlers and anglers.

However, sit-inside yaks also have positive sides. The fact that the paddler is enclosed within the boat means better protection against water and wind. Additionally, a good sit-in kayak is generally better in terms of speed compared to sit-on-top.

Stability

When talking about fishing kayaks, we know that stability is crucial. No one wants to tip when reeling a fish. Even more, if you want to stand up on your yak, you need a stable platform. So, some of the kayaks for fishing are designed in such a way that they remain stable if you stand up.

Portability and Storage

Another, thing to consider before buying your new yak is how easy it is to transport and carry it. Of course, the lighter your kayak is, the easier it is for carrying. However, it also important to take into consideration the dimensions of your first kayak. Also, look for features like convenient carry handles.

Additionally, you should know how are you going to transport your boat and where are you going to store it. Consider if you are you going to use a kayak roof rack or a trailer? Make sure that you will be able to load your boat alone without significant efforts.

In case you think that carrying and transportation of hardshell kayak will be too overwhelming, you could consider buying an inflatable kayak. The inflatables are definitely more portable and compact when deflated.

Weight Limit

Load capacity is also a key consideration. If you exceed the weight limit of your kayak, its stability and performance will not be that good. And, it can easily capsize. So, you need to be sure that the maximum weight capacity of your new vessel is well above your weight. Just keep in mind that you will have fishing gear with extra weight.

Storage Compartments

Most of the fishing yaks nowadays feature front and rear storage compartments. Some of them have additional open cargo area with bungee cords and D-rings where you can attach extra gear. According to us, dry hatches are a must for every good fishing kayak. You just need a safe place to store your valuable possessions like keys, wallet, and phone.

So, when looking for a fishing kayak, make sure that you are well aware of how much storage space do you need.

Comfort

You are going to spend hours in the water on your fishing trips and you should feel comfortable. You don’t want to have back pains after an hour. First, pay attention to the kayak dimensions and look for a spacious vessel that will comfortably accommodate you, especially if you are a tall or heavy person.
In terms of comfort features, many fishing kayaks come with seats with padding and back support. Additionally, some of them have adjustable foot braces that allow different positions of your legs.

Fishing Accessories

Last but not least, pay attention to the fishing accessories that come with your first yak. At least one rod holder is a must – no matter if it is molded in or not. Additionally, you can check if the kayak has paddle holders where you can safely keep your valuable paddle when you are fishing.

We know you are looking for a beginner fishing kayak, but most probably in the future, you will also need a more advanced boat. So, pay attention if the yak you are going to buy allows upgrades. Some of the fishing yaks available on the market come with mounting options for fish finders, GPS, additional rod holders, or even a trolling motor.

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